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x-post: Homeschooling an 8th grader- Advice Please

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I have a good friend who has a son in 8th grade PS with Aspergers. He is high functioning and does well with accomadations. However over the last two years the school has tried taking him off an IEP so that he can't have special privilages (their words). The amount of work required in homework throws the poor kid over the edge most days. Math alone is requiring 150 problems a night. While he is high functioning he does have delays especially fine motor skills so writing is very difficult and painful.


Added to all of the above (which is a very brief outline of some of the issues) he is now being bullied by some of the other boys. They have been pinning him down and showing him po#n that is saved on their phones.


Everything combined has the kid a total wreck and withdrawing from school, church and family activities. Because of the family situation it isn't possbile for one parent to stay home and homeschool him, although this is what they want to do. I have been considering offering to hs the kid as a joint effort between our families. However I have no experience with hsing a middle schooler and have no idea what it would take. Before I make the offer I want to make sure that it is something that I can do and do well.



How long can I expect to spend doing school at this grade level? How much will be teacher active time?


What Algebra curriculum is best for this age but is also not teacher dependent? I can handle teaching math to a degree but I would prefer to be more of a support than the actual teacher. I lack confidence in this area! He catches on fairly quickly but physically can't handle hours of writing problems.


How is the TOG English curriculum? We are currently using TOG so if he can slip in with us it would be easiest.


How does the rest of TOG measure up at this grade level?


Someone willing to share a schedule and a daily routine would be greatly appreciated.


Any other suggestions or advice would be great. Lol I haven't thought this far ahead in our schooling so I am a little unprepared.

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Wow, what a generous offer to this family. I think you'd need to have a close look at the materials he's currently using in school, especially math. Teaching Textbooks would probably be a decent place to start with regards to math. The computer aspect of it would provide some independance and also require less writing on his part.


Calvert 8th grade maybe a good options for his other subjects. It's traditional school, but provides a pretty detailed schedule and lesson plans. Although, they don't have a high school program. K12 could also be an option.


Here are some links:








Best of luck. I hope this works out for the young man; it sounds like his current situation at school is horrible.

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I agree -- what a generous offer. I quit work to school my Aspie dd at home from the beginning. But thinking of what she would have undergone in a school system like you describe, I want to cry for that boy and to tell you what a magnificent gift you are giving both him and his parents by offering him a haven. I can't find words to tell you how much your gesture would have meant to me, had I been unable to stay home with dd.


I don't know that I would continue with the math program the school uses. It may only be teacher rigidity that is making the kids do so much written work -- which is not only ridiculous but counterproductive for MOST kids, let alone someone with fine motor issues -- but it most likely is not a do-it-yourself kind of program. I'd check into Teaching Textbooks (which I have not used myself but have repeatedly read about on these boards) or a computer curriculum that is self-paced, with the note that I'd watch for one that requires a kid to complete each and every problem for each and every section, with no exceptions.


About English: I can see how you would want to include him in what you're already doing, but be forewarned: if most of the literature in your program is what can be called social realism -- that is, stories about characters with subtle motivations, an emphasis on character psychology or interrelations -- he is not only going to hate it but he won't get it. Then, if you are discussing symbolism or metaphorical language, you add an additional level of difficulty for an Aspie. Doesn't mean it can't be done, but it probably won't be easy, and it may not "take" with the same methods you use with other kids. JennW used Movies as Literature with her Aspie son; many (but not all) find that Literary Lessons From Lord of the Rings works well with Aspies who love Tolkien. Once they're through the basics of literary analysis in one of these ways, kids like my dd can move on to more conventional literary studies -- although dd still does not like realistic psychological or social fiction.


Many Aspies are quite visual learners, so he may really do well with DVDs as part of his work in history and science. Experiment with audiobooks as well, to see if he likes them. This would also make things easier for you, as your other kids could watch or listen along, or you could use that time for one-on-one work with a child while the others watch or listen.


You might discuss with him options for showing what he has learned other than writing papers or taking lots of written tests.


One final note, which is that Aspies even more than neurotypical kids might need decompression time once they are removed from a horrible environment. Don't feel that it's time wasted to allow him time to just read what he likes, build things, watch science videos, and get the stress out of his system. I don't know how subject you are to required testing or anything or reporting; but if you can afford to lessen the pressure on him in any way, do it. Dd went to a private school for four months in eighth grade. She was not bullied in any shape or form, but she did run into the same rigid inflexibility regarding amount of written work despite her fine motor issues and despite the fact that she could get As on the algebra tests while doing about one-third of the problems. When I pulled her out at her request, it took her several months to recover her joy in learning. We did resume work before those months were up, but I kept as much as possible informal and oral, and began with only a few subjects. By this fall, she was back to a regular routine.


Note: It also occurs to me that the parents can do some amount of "school" with their son, in the evenings or on weekends. If there's one subject that just puts it over the top for you, or a subject that is desirable but just not possible on a day-to-day basis, perhaps they can work out some kind of plan and do that with him when they are free.

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I pulled my son out and started homeschooling him in 8th grade. He is a special needs student that sounds like much of your friends son.


Anyways, the first year was our practice year. We tried all kinds of curriculum and spent a lot of money on wasted stuff too. Once we found his learning style its great. We tried Lifepacs, Sonlight, SOS, Saxon, etc. I wanted to pull my hair out. I wish you the best of luck with this. I wouldn't expect too much the first year as most of it will be unlearning the rote public school learning experience.



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